Dimmuborgir, The Dark Cities. Iceland And A Troll’s Cautionary Tale — Knowing When To Stop The Party
So folks, it’s the Christmas season, and it's almost a given that some of us will be nursing hangovers and morning after quandaries of:
“when will I learn that shots are never a good idea?”
Admit it, most of us have been there — victims to the morning after gloom. It rears it ugly head in many forms, be it a vino enthusiast's case of the grape depression or liquor lover’s possession of a demon spirit.
Indulgence and excess is a centuries old problem, a returning narrative allegory that binds impulse and desire as intrinsically tied with humanity. But us mere mortals aren’t the only creatures prone to follies of over indulgence. Visit Dimmuborgir (which translates to “Dark Cities”), located in Myvatn in the north of Iceland and you’ll learn the cautionary tale of the partying Trolls.
The story goes that back in the day, some carousing local trolls decided to throw a rager. They invited trolls from all corners of Iceland to join in the revelry. The party blew up, everyone enjoying themselves so much that they simply lost track of time. Carelessly, the partygoers forgot about the inconvenient nuisance of the rising sun. Whether there was alcohol involved, the legend doesn’t make clear, but I’d hazard a guess that there was a fair chance of this. Can you imagine, a troll inebriated, siping away on a tequila sunrise, only to be caught out by the rising sun? And to compound the irony, envision being damned to an eternal hangover in the process — perhaps the ultimate case of the morning after — gloom of doom.
But we here at The Doc Collective digress, what is clear in the classic Troll story style, is the enduring punchline — these errant creatures being caught out and petrified into rocks by rays of sunlight. As you wander through the terrain of Dimmuborgir you’ll be confronted with a whole swathe of these peculiar lava pillar formations. Peer closely at these and you’ll see the makings out of faces, in an whole variety of expressions, shapes and sizes.
Walking up close along the designated footpath, your simply surrounded by these frozen statues. However, viewed from a panoramic vantage point, the dramatic structures are almost reminiscent of an ancient sunken citadel (ergo its name Dark Cities). Geologically speaking the Dimmuborgir region is composed from the remains of a lava reservoir, which formed above a lake. Through the cooling process, the reservoir was released and from this, what endured were the unusual shaped remains that you can glimpse today.
Sadly, this is our final episode in our maiden DOCCO series ‘The Mythic Guide to Iceland’. Being as its our concluding episode, we can’t help but reflect upon the lessons learned. This week’s takeaway? Learn from the trolls and know when to bow out from a party gracefully. In the midst of the festive party season, we’d all do well to take heed from their mistakes…
In case you missed out on this week’s episode, catch it here: